General Motors (GM) announced it has joined the Initiative for Responsible Mining Assurance (IRMA), adding another element to company programs that support the sustainability and human rights of the electric vehicle (EV) supply chain.
IRMA advances responsible mining practice through a comprehensive set of standards covering the four principles of Business Integrity, Planning for Positive Legacies, Social Responsibility and Environmental Responsibility.
As automotive battery demand expands globally, access to battery materials is of increasing importance. Given the critical role of electric cars and vehicles in reducing the carbon footprint of the transportation sector, GM is committed to the responsible sourcing of the mined materials needed for EV production.
Shilpan Amin, GM vice president of global purchasing and supply chain, said: “GM recognises the important role we play within our supply chain, and we’re committed to making sure it reflects our dedication to social and environmental priorities.
“Joining IRMA will help us conduct business with suppliers and partners whose standards and actions align with our approach to integrity, responsible sourcing and supply chain management.
“As we shift to an all-electric future, we look forward to helping advance the establishment of a responsible mining industry alongside other IRMA members.”
GM already requires suppliers to meet its standards and adhere to company values throughout the supply chain. The IRMA certification builds on this requirement as it encourages comprehensive, third-party assessments of mining practices while advancing a range of issues including health and safety, waste management and compliance with local and international laws.
GM’s work with the initiative will also foster collaboration with other companies to share best practices and drive the transformation of the mining industry toward more responsible operations.
Aimee Boulanger, IRMA executive director, said: “With GM’s engagement in IRMA membership, a strong signal is being sent that the company’s commitment to safety, inclusivity and climate response reaches all the way up their supply chains to the lands and communities where raw materials are sourced.
“This powerful message has the opportunity to forward value for greater environmental and social responsibility around the world. We are thrilled to work together for a shared purpose.”
Membership in the initiative is the latest development in GM’s commitment to promote the sustainability of an all-electric future. In recent months, GM has announced they will reduce the use of cobalt, one of the mined materials essential to battery manufacturing. GM’s Ultium battery system requires 70 percent less cobalt.
GM are investing $35 billion between 2020 to 2025 in electric vehicles and will launch more than 30 electric vehicles globally by 2025. These include the GMC HUMMER EV, the Cadillac LYRIQ and the Chevrolet Silverado EV.
The company plans to deliver more than one million annual global electric vehicle sales by 2025. As it scales up this production, GM has said it plans to continue advancing sustainability within the EV life cycle through investment and innovation. This is good to see because the whole process to produce and recycle parts after use are as important as driving cleaner zero emissions vehicles.